[Video of race below] Second favourite at 5/1, Mariinsky (Burden of Proof – Sabre Dance) hit the front fairly early in the straight and then motored comfortably to pick up the Deltin Casinos Indian 1000 Guineas, Gr.1, the first Classic of the year at Mahalakshmi in Mumbai this afternoon. Richard Hughes-ridden Circle of Life, sporting the Jacqueline colours, was second, the favourite Starry Eyes third and Mint Approach took the other spot in the frame. The winning margins were 1 3/4, 2 1/2 and 1 1/4 and the time of 1.35.26 was just fair considering that the course record for 1000 m. was broken earlier in the day.
The first two home were trained by former Champion Jockey Pesi Shroff, who won his fourth ’1000′ in his short training career. The winning filly was ridden by local boy P. Trevor who has been retained by Dr. Vijay Mallya for some time now. Trevor had finished second in several big races but seems to have got it right now. In the last month, he has won both the Guineas at Kolkata and he was astride Mariinsky a fortnight ago at Bangalore when she won the Bangalore 1000 Guineas, Gr.2.
Mariinsky is owned by Mr. Mehernosh Deboo and Dr.& Mrs. Vijay Mallya. She was winning her sixth race from 11 career starts and runs in the colours of the former for whom it was a first Indian Classic. Dr. Mallya’s horses usually run in his colours; so Mariinsky is something of an exception. This was Dr. Mallya’s sixth success in the race and like his previous one — Siachen — was bred at his Kunigal Stud. Kunigal Stud has just picked up Smart Strike’s Bowling Green Stakes, Gr.2 and Virginia Derby, Gr.2 winning son Air Support to stand alongside Burden of Proof (by Fairy King). Burden of Proof has done consistently well but is now twenty one years old. Air Support was bred and raced by Stuart Janney lll and is from the same family of Kentucky Derby winner Orb.
In recent times, foals imported in utero or produce of the increasing number of imported mares have ruled the roost in India so it was nice to see Mariinsky tracing back to a mare who came to India eighty years ago. That was the Mithalak Stud’s Twelve Pointer mare called Best. Mithalak Stud, in District Sargodha, became a part of Pakistan after the Partition. In the mid-1060s, Twinkle, a great grand-daughter of Best was imported to India from Pakistan. Twinkle is the fourth dam of Mariinsky whose full-brother Fleeting Arrow won the Bangalore 2000 Guineas, Gr.2 and was fourth in the Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1. Their dam Sabre Dance won the Calcutta Oaks, Gr.3 some years ago. The dam line goes back to the Springfield mare Briar-Root. This is the family of the Indian Derby winner Pyare Miya who is unique in Indian racing annals. The Indian Derby was the only race he ever won!